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Federal appeals court bars Texas city law limiting housing rentals to illegals

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A federal appeals court issued a ruling Monday that in effect opens the door wider for illegal immigrants to lawfully rent housing in at least one Texas suburb.

The 9-6 ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said that a Farmers Branch ordinance that imposed registration requirements on renters actually interferes with federal immigration policy and, therefore, is unconstitutional, Reuters reported.

The law, put in effect by the local governing body of Farmers Branch, a Dallas suburb, required all renters to register with city officials and to obtain occupancy licenses, Reuters reported. Under the law, the city inspector would then verify the applicant's immigration status.

The law also said that landlords who rented to unregistered applicants could lose their business licenses or, worse, face charges in criminal court.

But the requirements conflicted with federal law, the majority ruled.

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